This trial is a big one.
We’re talking Apple-Microsoft-Amazon big.
Epic Games angered Apple by putting in its own pay service for its properties including Fortnite – and found itself promptly pushed out of Apple’s App store entirely.
Now, Epic has dug its heels in and is prepared to direct massive amounts of money to win at trial, about $593 million according to court documents. Epic can handle the loss, given its Fortnite monthly revenue alone hit $400 million in April 2020.
Apple is facing a real threat as proceedings began in Oakland on Monday in what is expected to be a three-week trial.
Epic Games’ antitrust lawsuit keys on Apple’s control over its App Store, which is the only way developers have access to the 1.5 billion iPhone and iPad users across the globe.
Epic’s “rogue” payment mechanism bypassed Apple’s 30 percent cut of all in-app transactions.
The Verge reported that, while Epic has plenty of support from within an alliance called the Coalition for App Fairness (Spotify, Match Group, Basecamp and Tile), perhaps batting cleanup for Epic is Amazon.
The Epic Games Store – and Fortnite — run on Amazon Web Services.
Valve also takes a 30% cut for its iOS-like store called Steam, but Epic?
Epic takes a 12% cut of sales, and its store carries games by other developers — and other game stores, too.
Microsoft is cutting its take on PC games to 12% to match Epic – down from 30% – and, according to Verge, filed a letter of support for Epic in this court case.
“If Epic is able to score a victory, then that will also majorly liberate the internet economy,” said Andy Yen, CEO of Protonmail, an email app that has had its own issues with Apple over its App Store rules. “ You’re basically taking the entire mobile space and making it competitive again.”